The "City of God" or the "City of Man"? This is the choice St. Augustine offered 1500 years ago--and according to Pierre Manent the modern West has decisively and irreversibly chosen the latter. In this subtle and wide-ranging book on the Western intellectual and political condition, Manent argues that the West has rejected the laws of God and of nature in a quest for human autonomy. But in declaring ourselves free and autonomous, he contends, we have, paradoxically, lost a sense of what it means to be human. In the first part of the book, Manent explores the development of the social sciences since the seventeenth century, portraying their growth as a sign of increasing human "self-consciousness." But as social scientists have sought to free us from the intellectual confines of the ancient world, he writes, they have embraced modes of analysis--economic, sociological, and historical--that treat only narrow aspects of the human condition and portray individuals as helpless victims of impersonal forces. As a result, we have lost all sense of human agency and of the unified human subject at the center of intellectual study. Politics and culture have come to be seen as mere foam on the tides of historical and social necessity. In the second half of the book, titled "Self-Affirmation," Manent examines how the West, having discovered freedom, then discovered arbitrary will and its dangers. With no shared touchstones or conceptions of virtue, for example, we have found it increasingly hard to communicate with each other. This is a striking contrast to the past, he writes, when even traditions as different as the Classical and the Christian held many of these conceptions in common. The result of these discoveries, according to Manent, is the disturbing rootlessness that characterizes our time. By gaining autonomy from external authority, we have lost a sense of what we are. In "giving birth" to ourselves, we have abandoned that which alone can nurture and sustain us. With penetrating insight and remarkable erudition, Manent offers a profound analysis of the confusions and contradictions at the heart of the modern condition.
The "City of God" or the "City of Man"? This is the choice St. Augustine offered 1500 years ago--and according to Pierre Manent the modern West has decisively and irreversibly chosen the latter. In this subtle and wide-ranging book on the Western intellectual and political condition, Manent argues that the West has rejected the laws of God and of nature in a quest for human autonomy. But in declaring ourselves free and autonomous, he contends, we have, paradoxically, lost a sense of what it means to be human. In the first part of the book, Manent explores the development of the social sciences since the seventeenth century, portraying their growth as a sign of increasing human "self-consciousness." But as social scientists have sought to free us from the intellectual confines of the ancient world, he writes, they have embraced modes of analysis--economic, sociological, and historical--that treat only narrow aspects of the human condition and portray individuals as helpless victims of impersonal forces. As a result, we have lost all sense of human agency and of the unified human subject at the center of intellectual study. Politics and culture have come to be seen as mere foam on the tides of historical and social necessity. In the second half of the book, titled "Self-Affirmation," Manent examines how the West, having discovered freedom, then discovered arbitrary will and its dangers. With no shared touchstones or conceptions of virtue, for example, we have found it increasingly hard to communicate with each other. This is a striking contrast to the past, he writes, when even traditions as different as the Classical and the Christian held many of these conceptions in common. The result of these discoveries, according to Manent, is the disturbing rootlessness that characterizes our time. By gaining autonomy from external authority, we have lost a sense of what we are. In "giving birth" to ourselves, we have abandoned that which alone can nurture and sustain us. With penetrating insight and remarkable erudition, Manent offers a profound analysis of the confusions and contradictions at the heart of the modern condition.
We live in the grip of a great illusion about politics, Pierre Manent argues in A World beyond Politics? It's the illusion that we would be better off without politics--at least national politics, and perhaps all politics. It is a fantasy that if democratic values could somehow detach themselves from their traditional national context, we could enter a world of pure democracy, where human society would be ruled solely according to law and morality. Borders would dissolve in unconditional internationalism and nations would collapse into supranational organizations such as the European Union. Free of the limits and sins of politics, we could finally attain the true life. In contrast to these beliefs, which are especially widespread in Europe, Manent reasons that the political order is the key to the human order. Human life, in order to have force and meaning, must be concentrated in a particular political community, in which decisions are made through collective, creative debate. The best such community for democratic life, he argues, is still the nation-state. Following the example of nineteenth-century political philosophers such as Alexis de Tocqueville and John Stuart Mill, Manent first describes a few essential features of democracy and the nation-state, and then shows how these characteristics illuminate many aspects of our present political circumstances. He ends by arguing that both democracy and the nation-state are under threat--from apolitical tendencies such as the cult of international commerce and attempts to replace democratic decisions with judicial procedures.
Highlighting the social tensions that confront the liberal tradition, Pierre Manent draws a portrait of what we, citizens of modern liberal democracies, have become. For Manent, a discussion of liberalism encompasses the foundations of modern society, its secularism, its individualism, and its conception of rights. The frequent incapacity of the morally neutral, democratic state to further social causes, he argues, derives from the liberal stance that political life does not serve a higher purpose. Through quick-moving, highly synthetic essays, he explores the development of liberal thinking in terms of a single theme: the decline of theological politics. The author traces the liberal stance to Machiavelli, who, in seeking to divorce everyday life from the pervasive influence of the Catholic church, separated politics from all notions of a cosmological order. What followed, as Manent demonstrates in his analyses of Locke, Hobbes, Rousseau, Guizot, and Constant, was the evolving concept of an individual with no goals outside the confines of the self and a state with no purpose but to prevent individuals from dominating one another. Weighing both the positive and negative effects of such a political arrangement, Manent raises important questions about the fundamental political issues of the day, among them the possibility of individual rights being reconciled with the necessary demands of political organization, and the desirability of a government system neutral about religion but not about public morals.
On the history of fashion and mass culture
From Paul French, the New York Times bestselling author of Midnight in Peking—winner of both the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime and the CWA Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction—comes City of Devils, a rags-to-riches tale of two self-made men set against a backdrop of crime and vice in the sprawling badlands of Shanghai. Shanghai, 1930s: It was a haven for outlaws from all over the world: a place where pasts could be forgotten, fascism and communism outrun, names invented, and fortunes made—and lost. “Lucky” Jack Riley was the most notorious of those outlaws. An ex–U.S. Navy boxing champion, he escaped from prison and rose to become the Slots King of Shanghai. “Dapper” Joe Farren—a Jewish boy who fled Vienna’s ghetto—ruled the nightclubs. His chorus lines rivaled Ziegfeld’s. In 1940, Lucky Jack and Dapper Joe bestrode the Shanghai Badlands like kings, while all around the Solitary Island was poverty, starvation, and war. They thought they ruled Shanghai, but the city had other ideas. This is the story of their rise to power, their downfall, and the trail of destruction left in their wake. Shanghai was their playground for a flickering few years, a city where for a fleeting moment even the wildest dreams could come true.
"Rosanvallon argues that social policies must be more narrowly targeted. And he draws on evidence form around the world, in particular France and the U.S., to show that such programs as unemployment insurance and workfare could better reflect individual needs by, for example, making more explicit use of contracts between the providers and receivers of benefits. His arguments have broad implications for welfare programs everywhere and for our understanding of citizenship in modern democracies and economies."--BOOK JACKET.
This is a sweeping and provocative work of aesthetic theory: a trenchant critique of the philosophy of art as it developed from the eighteenth century to the early twentieth century, combined with a carefully reasoned plea for a new and more flexible approach to art. Jean-Marie Schaeffer, one of France's leading aestheticians, explores the writings of Kant, Schlegel, Novalis, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Heidegger to show that these diverse thinkers shared a common approach to art, which he calls the "speculative theory." According to this theory, art offers a special kind of intuitive, quasi-mystical knowledge, radically different from the rational knowledge acquired by science. This view encouraged theorists to consider artistic geniuses the high-priests of humanity, creators of works that reveal the invisible essence of the world. Philosophers came to regard inexpressibility as the aim of art, refused to consider second-tier creations genuine art, and helped to create conditions in which the genius was expected to shock, puzzle, and mystify the public. Schaeffer shows that this speculative theory helped give birth to romanticism, modernism, and the avant-garde, and paved the way for an unfortunate divorce between art and enjoyment, between "high art" and popular art, and between artists and their public. Rejecting the speculative approach, Schaeffer concludes by defending a more tolerant theory of art that gives pleasure its due, includes popular art, tolerates less successful works, and accounts for personal tastes. "[A] remarkable work.... [Schaeffer's] writing is governed by ... the ideals of clarity and consequence, the ideas of logic, truth, and evidence.... Schaeffer is so precise and unrelenting a philosophical critic that one wonders how some of the philosophies he anatomizes here can possibly survive the operation."--From the foreword by Arthur C. Danto
In this wonderfully readable book, Alistair Horne tells the huge and romantic story of Paris through seven ages of turmoil and change: the Middle Ages, the 100 years war, the Paris of Louis XIV, the age of Napoleon, the Commune, the Empire days of Louis-Napoleon and Eugenie, and the First World War and De Gaulle. Interweaving historical narrative with telling detail, this is a fluent and definitive work of social and cultural history. 'The best book I have read on Paris in a long time' Gregor Dallas, BBC History Books of the Year 'Reading Seven Ages of Paris is like taking an exciting trip in a French balloon' Antonia Fraser, New Statesman Books of the Year 'Provides not only a panorama of the capital, but also a well-crafted history of France with a nice balance between broad overviews and engaging episodes and details' Jonathan Fenby, The Times
The finest book on France in recent years - Alain de Botton, New York Times Book ReviewA conscientious, scrupulously savvy American husband and father meets contemporary France, and fireworks result, lighting up not just the Eiffel Tower - John Updike
Peter Mayle may have spent a year in Provence, but Harriet Welty Rochefort writes from the wise perspective of one who has spent more than twenty years living among the French. From a small town in Iowa to the City of Light, Harriet has done what so many of dream of one day doing-she picked up and moved to France. But it has not been twenty years of fun and games; Harriet has endured her share of cultural bumps, bruises, and psychic adjustments along the way. In French Toast, she shares her hard-earned wisdom and does as much as one woman can to demystify the French. She makes sense of their ever-so-French thoughts on food, money, sex, love, marriage, manners, schools, style, and much more. She investigates such delicate matters as how to eat asparagus, how to approach Parisian women, how to speak to merchants, how to drive, and, most important, how to make a seven-course meal in a silk blouse without an apron! Harriet's first-person account offers both a helpful reality check and a lot of very funny moments.
How the insane asylum became a laboratory of democracy is revealed in this provocative look at the treatment of the mentally ill in nineteenth-century France. Political thinkers reasoned that if government was to rest in the hands of individuals, then measures should be taken to understand the deepest reaches of the self, including the state of madness. Marcel Gauchet and Gladys Swain maintain that the asylum originally embodied the revolutionary hope of curing all the insane by saving the glimmer of sanity left in them. Their analysis of why this utopian vision failed ultimately constitutes both a powerful argument for liberalism and a direct challenge to Michel Foucault's indictment of liberal institutions. The creation of an artificial environment was meant to encourage the mentally ill to live as social beings, in conditions that resembled as much as possible those prevailing in real life. The asylum was therefore the first instance of a modern utopian community in which a scientifically designed environment was supposed to achieve complete control over the minds of a whole category of human beings. Gauchet and Swain argue that the social domination of the inner self, far from being the hidden truth of emancipation, represented the failure of its overly optimistic beginnings. "Madness and Democracy" combines rich details of nineteenth-century asylum life with reflections on the crucial role of subjectivity and difference within modernism. Its final achievement is to show that the lessons learned from the failure of the asylum led to the rise of psychoanalysis, an endeavor focused on individual care and on the cooperation between psychiatrist and patient. By linking the rise of liberalism to a chapter in the history of psychiatry, Gauchet and Swain offer a fascinating reassessment of political modernity.
The past fifteen years in France have seen a remarkable flourishing of new work in political philosophy. This anthology brings into English for the first time essays by some of the best young French political thinkers writing today, including Marcel Gauchet, Pierre Manent, Luc Ferry, and Alain Renaut. The central theme of these essays is liberal democracy: its nature, its development, its problems, its fundamental legitimacy. Although these themes are familiar to American and British readers, the French approach to them--which is profoundly historical and rooted in the tradition of continental philosophy--is quite different from our customary one. Included in this collection is a series of reconsiderations of French critics of liberal society (Lévi-Strauss, Foucault, Bourdieu) and of classical European liberals (Kant, Constant, Tocqueville). The continuing controversies over the nature of the modern era and the place of religion within it play a central role throughout the collection. The book includes a debate on the foundations of human rights and on the nature of a liberal political order. The concluding section presents some of the new sociological writing on modern individualism, its pleasures and its discontents. An introduction by Mark Lilla provides the historical background to the revival of French political thought about liberalism, and offers an analysis of what American and English readers might learn from it. Originally published in 1994. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
What does it mean to be out walking in the world, whether in a landscape or a metropolis, on a pilgrimage or a protest march? In this first general history of walking, Rebecca Solnit draws together many histories to create a range of possibilities for this most basic act. Arguing that walking as history means walking for pleasure and for political, aesthetic, and social meaning, Solnit homes in on the walkers whose everyday and extreme acts have shaped our culture, from the peripatetic philosophers of ancient Greece to the poets of the Romantic Age, from the perambulations of the Surrealists to the ascents of mountaineers. With profiles of some of the most significant walkers in history and fiction - from Wordsworth to Gary Snyder, from Rousseau to Argentina's Mother of the Plaza de Mayo, from Jane Austen's Elizabeth Bennet to Andre Breton's Nadja - Wanderlust offers a provocative and profound examination of the interplay between the body, the imagination, and the world around the walker.
From the Nobel Prize-winning author of My Name Is Red and Snow, a large-format, deluxe, collectible edition of his beloved memoir about life in Istanbul, with more than 200 added illustrations and a new introduction. Orhan Pamuk was born in Istanbul and still lives in the family apartment building where his mother first held him in her arms. His portrait of his city is thus also a self-portrait, refracted by memory and the melancholy--or h�z�n--that all Istanbullus share: the sadness that comes of living amid the ruins of a lost empire. With cinematic fluidity, Pamuk moves from the lives of his glamorous, unhappy parents to the gorgeous, decrepit mansions overlooking the Bosphorus; from the dawning of his self-consciousness to the writers and painters--both Turkish and foreign--who would shape his consciousness of his city. Like Joyce's Dublin and Borges' Buenos Aires, Pamuk's Istanbul is a triumphant encounter of place and sensibility, beautifully written and immensely moving.
Over the last twenty years there has been a growing international interest in the city of Barcelona. This has been reflected in the academic world through a series of studies, courses, seminars, and publications. The Barcelona Reader hinges together a selection of the best academic articles, written in English, about the city, and its main elements of identity and interest: art, urban planning, history and social movements. The book includes scholarly essays about Barcelona that can be of interest to the student and the general public alike. It focuses on cultural representations of the city: the arts (including literature) provide a complex yet discontinuous portrait of the city, similar to a patchwork. The authors selected create a kaleidoscope of views and voices thus presenting a diverse yet inclusive Barcelona portrait. The Barcelona Reader offers a multifaceted assessment that will be essential reading for anyone interested in this iconic city.
Traces the development of impressionism and draws on anecdotes and excerpts from contemporary essays and letters to explore the lives of the major Impressionists.
The sixth edition of the highly successful The City Reader juxtaposes the very best classic and contemporary writings on the city to provide the comprehensive mapping of the terrain of Urban Studies and Planning old and new. The City Reader is the anchor volume in the Routledge Urban Reader Series and is now integrated with all ten other titles in the series. This edition has been extensively updated and expanded to reflect the latest thinking in each of the disciplinary areas included and in topical areas such as compact cities, urban history, place making, sustainable urban development, globalization, cities and climate change, the world city network, the impact of technology on cities, resilient cities, cities in Africa and the Middle East, and urban theory. The new edition places greater emphasis on cities in the developing world, globalization and the global city system of the future. The plate sections have been revised and updated. Sixty generous selections are included: forty-four from the fifth edition, and sixteen new selections, including three newly written exclusively for The City Reader. The sixth edition keeps classic writings by authors such as Ebenezer Howard, Ernest W. Burgess, LeCorbusier, Lewis Mumford, Jane Jacobs, and Louis Wirth, as well as the best contemporary writings of, among others, Peter Hall, Manuel Castells, David Harvey, Saskia Sassen, and Kenneth Jackson. In addition to newly commissioned selections by Yasser Elshestawy, Peter Taylor, and Lawrence Vale, new selections in the sixth edition include writings by Aristotle, Peter Calthorpe, Alberto Camarillo, Filip DeBoech, Edward Glaeser, David Owen, Henri Pirenne, The Project for Public Spaces, Jonas Rabinovich and Joseph Lietman, Doug Saunders, and Bish Sanyal. The anthology features general and section introductions as well as individual introductions to the selected articles introducing the authors, providing context, relating the selection to other selection, and providing a bibliography for further study. The sixth edition includes fifty plates in four plate sections, substantially revised from the fifth edition.

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